Album of the American colonies By: Bryan Cooper
AFRICANS Most Africans were shipped from Africa to America by the Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and Dutch. Slavery was a commodity that helped leverage time and profits. Through generations in America, many Africans had children (home grown slaves) and in some cases some were able to buy their freedom. Through breeding with non-Africans their offspring would have lighter skin color called “morisca” in Spanish or mulatto today. Many African women became concubines of slave masters. This was tolerated but If a white woman had sex with an African man there was hell to pay!
Africans -continued- By the eve of the American Revolution, African slaves constituted about 40% the population of the S. mainland colonies, and the highest concentration in S. Carolina, where well over half the pop. were salves. In 1712 in New York City, two dozen slaves set fire to a building & killed fleeing whites. Soldiers subdued them and the punishments ranged from burning at the stake, to the Gallows, to breaking bones on the Wheel until dead, to starving to death. In the N. American colonies during the 18th century African slaves were a small minority in New England around 2%, and the middle colonies around 8%. In 1808, slave importing was illegal in N. America.
Spanish Christopher Columbus was sponsored by Isabella of Castile (Spain) to find a better path to the West Indies. Columbus finding the New World for Spain, the Portuguese wanted their part so in Tordesillas, the Pope allotted everything west to Spain and east went to Portugal. Spain expanded from Chile up to California. Francisco Pizarro led conquest of the Incan Empire in 1509-1535 and Hernan Cortes conquering Mexico 1518-1522 and the Conquistadors were more a volunteer militia than and organized military. They had to supply their own materials, weapons and horses.
Spanish –continued- The death of the natives from wars, guns, and swords was nothing compared to the deaths from the new diseases introduced by the Spaniards, slaves, and their animals which killed about 70% to 80% of all the natives of South and Central America. In 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon, governor of Puerto Rico searched for land north of Cuba believing he might find gold and maybe Indians to enslave. He found Florida, found no gold but did find Indians.
Portuguese Shortly after 1500, after the Spanish began commercial sugar production in Hispaniola, the Portuguese followed shortly thereafter in Brazil. Rice proved to be the best food to feed the slaves with for enough nutrition and low cost. Portugal was the leading country in exploration out of all the other European countries. Due to the “Treaty of Toresilles” Brazil was colonized but attempts to colonize N. America failed. The degree of discipline to slaves was in relation to the pressures of keeping ahead of the market prices for sugar. Deaths on the plantations were not uncommon due to exhaustion and infections plus loss of hope for freedom.
Colonization began in the 16th century, making claims in North America, some Caribbean islands, and in South America. Most of the colonies developed to export products such as sugar, furs, and fish. Quebec and Montreal became cities from their colonization.
The Island of St. Domingue (today it’s called Haiti) also called Hispaniola, the French raised sugarcane, the slaves rebelled and out of hundreds of slave rebellions in the New World, only this one worked in favor to the slaves.
The French and Indian war, which was between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. This was known as “The Seven Year War”. This was fought between Virgina to Nova Scotia.
DUTCH The first colonization to the Americas was to a few places but they retained possession of a country called “Suriname”, Aruba, and Netherlands Antilles. In the Caribbean the Dutch colonized St. Croix and Tobago and half of Sint Maarten and several other islands were captured and fortified against the Spanish. Timber & salt were wanted resources there. During the Dutch’s brief occupation of northeast Brazil, the Dutch had encountered a more efficient Mill for juicing sugarcane. They brought it to the Caribbean to their plantations. The British were able to learn from the Dutch about this new technology. Henry Hudson, while commissioned to find a new passageway through to the Pacific, founded the Hudson river, and Adriaen Block got recognition for Block Island in Long Island. The Indians killed all the Dutch traders after mapping the area in 1609.
English Colonizing the Americas began in the late 16th century, and they came to rival the Spanish in military and economic might. Britain’s biggest foes turned out to be their own colonists, the French and the Indians. After the American War of Independence British territories in the Americas were granted independence July 4th 1776. Two countries in North America, ten in the Caribbean, and one in South America have received their independence from the United Kingdom. There were three types of colonies, proprietary colonies, royal colonies, and charter colonies. A proprietary colony example could be under the “Virginia Company” which created the first successful English settlement at James Town & the 2nd at St. George’s in Bermuda.
Native Americans The natives or indigenous people from South America to North America were physically taken over. I call it a hostile takeover and basically it was a criminal act. The worst results of devastation didn’t come from the gun or the sword or stealing one’s land, it came from new diseases brought from Europe. From the Aztecs to the Algonquian tribes around 60% to 80% perished. Due to a higher technology of weapons, the conquistadors – to the British in Jamestown had a huge advantage with guns and swords. Because they had the upper hand, Indians like “Squanto” (last of the Patuxet Indians) was kidnapped, sold as a slave, but he learned the English language and religion & became a translator for the British helping to form treaties that may have been close to impossible to do without him.
SOURCES The Jesuit Relations American Colonies the Settling of North America Struggle & Survival in Colonial America The Aztecs rise and fall of an Empire JSTOR, http://jstor.org/stable/2562638